Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sepulcral - Anthropophagy Of Doom

It's nice to see some different worship done every once in a while when it comes to playing old school death metal, because the current scene is a swelling tumor of Autopsy/Incantation worshipers or groove laden, hardcore tinged Entombed/Dismember doppelgangers and bands with nuances will be certainly be appreciated if not adored as long as they keep true to their ancient styling. Razorback Recordings is a cool label who continuously signs death/doom bands, and they have all my support on that. Italy's Sepulcral is a fine addition to their growing list of old school death/doom bands, and the real thing that pulled me towards their album ''Anthropophagy Of Doom'' is the influences that they took rather then their overall sound. This album is not necessarily a departure from the classic death metal sound trends that are prominent today, but it's not a direct copy either.

''Anthropophagy Of Doom'' has a burden packed with only a small amount of various styles, but these influences are sufficient to build up and album with a strong base structure. The doom laden death metal reminds me of Derketa, Mythic, Goatlord, early Death rather than Incantation or Autopsy, thus, the influences are dotted with rotting parchments of thrash to bring the raw sound to the front row. Due to production issues, the band didn't actually manage to sound extremely filthy or raw, plus I feel the thrash influence lingers upon the heavy doom riffs a little too long, but nonetheless that old school death/doom sound is brought alive once again, even though some of its most crucial elements are not bestowed upon the music properly. The main thing that separates bands like Derketa or Mythic from other like Rottrevore, Cianide or Autopsy, is that the tempos are always moving and no matter the loss in speed the music stays constant and fluent, while all the other filthy death/doomers have a clear line between fast, and slow, scarcely having a middle ground. The riffs on this album are razor sharp and crunchy all the same, but the riffs may tend to sound a little too mechanic at times which may cost the band a few points.

For example, ''Sepulcral'' starts off with a stomping, doomy thrash chomp, but as the band fails to deliver any contrast to go along with that riff, the riffs soon loses its efficiency and fades away. You never feel like rambling around the album and exploring its unexplored, mainly because you can't find anything new. That's a large flaw that definitely detracts some points, and that flaw will need some healing. On the other hand, you can definitely enjoy the simplicity of the crushing, spacious riffs as they're totally open to headbanging . Songs like ''Infanticide'' are very straightforward, thrashy tracks that work along with doomy death metal formula easily, and even some of the more technically oriented tremolo bursts and groovy chord progressions capture the interest of a listener even though I doubt someone will be utterly immersed by these riffs. I did enjoy a healthy measure of this album's monotonous chomps and robust, thrash oriented chord attacks, yet I believe that band could have done better with this release. A very solid album, and it still keeps its distance from mediocrity, and I hope the next release will be an improvement.

Drastic Visions
Cemeteries Reaper

Rating: 77%

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